Kathy Bassett: Night fishin' in Colorado

If you've never gone night fishin', you don't know what you've missed out on.

For one thing, in Colorado, I don't care how hot it gets in the daytime, it gets cold out on a lake at night, at least for me. So, you have to make sure you are dressed appropriately.

Take a couple of sweatshirts, a sweater, coat, hat and a nice, fuzzy blanket to wrap up in. And then, don't forget the thermos of piping hot chocolate or coffee.

Then, you get out on the boat and get the lantern lit, hang it on the side of the boat, bait your hook and just drop your line over the side.

It is a good thing you don't have to cast your line, because you have so many clothes on, you can't move. But you are warm. Then, you just sit back and watch all the other night fishermen.

Sometimes it looks like a small city on the lake, but it is kind of fun to watch. The water carries sounds, so if you are quiet, you can even hear what some people are talking about.

It is a hoot.

Well, one day, some friends of mine called.

Bruce had been working on his truck all day, so he had time to think about it, and he and his wife wanted me to go night fishin'.

But they weren't taking the boat. We were just gonna sit on the bank.

OK.

I got all my stuff together, and they picked me up before dark and away we went, laughing all the way. Wouldn't you know that as soon as we got to the lake, a horrible storm appeared on the horizon.

Lots of wind and lightning. It got dark fast and, boy, it was pitch black. But were we scared? Naw.

We sat in the truck awhile and, finally, the lightning went away so we jumped out, and Bruce got the lantern lit. Don't ask me how, because the wind didn't go away.

He set the lantern down behind a big rock where it wasn't too badly affected by the wind. It was blowing 90 miles per hour, or it at least seemed like it. But the good part is, it was blowing against our backs, so we didn't have any trouble casting our lines out because the wind took them way out in the lake.

Wow.

Oh, it was a nasty ol' night. The kind horror stories are told about. But no one cared. We were having such fun and watching the long shadows that the lantern was putting out, listening to the wind howling. Maybe it was telling us to go home, but we weren't having any of that.

Pretty soon, I could feel something on my line.

Oh, my gosh!

It was a monster. I couldn't even get it reeled in. I struggled and hollered and yelled at Bruce, and Sharon was laughing, and Bruce came over about the time my big fish surfaced.

But wait!

That wasn't a fish! It was too big. Yikes! I think I hooked into a body. I just couldn't reel anymore. Oh, did I tell you I wasn't cold at this point?

I threw my pole at Bruce and told him to reel it in because I just didn't want to look at someone's body. Bruce was reeling that thing in as fast as he could, muttering about a body and finally a big blob landed up on the sand.

We got the lantern and gingerly sneaked up on it.

We laughed until we couldn't get another squeaker out. It wasn't a body. It was someone's big rubber raft! And it was clear full of craw daddies.

What a hoot. Wouldn't we all love to know the story behind the rubber raft? But, alas, we will never know.

Bruce heaved it back into the lake. When I asked him why, he said it was a super great home for the craw daddies.

We didn't catch any fish that night.

But we didn't really care. We were just out for the adventure, and we did have a great one. We gathered up our gear, climbed into the truck and headed home.

I told Bruce I'd never went "night snake-hunting" in a truck before. He asked me what I was talking about, and I told him to look at his headlights. They were pointed straight down at the ground and you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you.

Yeppers. We laughed all the way home.

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